This is a stand-alone novel by Billingham. It has Billingham’s usual deep knowledge of the mind-frame of a killer. So much so that his books can often be so realistic they are disturbing.
A Monday night therapy group is down one member. In the beginning it isn’t entirely clear which one, as the reader gets to know all the individuals first.
Each one of them has a different or variety of addictions. Gambling, drugs, alcohol, food and so on. Even the therapist has overcome his addictions to help others in his situation.
Saying that, Tony isn’t exactly kosher, despite all his attempts at appearing above reproach and taking the moral high ground. Is he as squeaky clean as he makes out to be? Is his wife paranoid or is it gut instinct?
Which one of the group members could have been driven to desperate measures? Who is playing a deadly game with the lives of vulnerable people?
Billingham mixes a tense atmosphere with the emotional and sometimes chaotic nature of a therapy group. Souls are bared and trust is betrayed, which means the whole purpose of the therapy group is null and void.
The ending is unexpected. Of course it is, it’s Billingham. The insidious nature of the killer has seeped into the fabric of the group and certainly left its mark. I wonder what the repercussions will be in the long run? Why? Well the story is left open-ended with an option for a sequel.